A smart grid aggregation dashboard prototype

by Blog

Through the Nobel Grid project, Carbon Co-op are developing and testing ideas around householders using smart meters to enable collective action. But what does this mean in reality and what are the potential benefits?

Click here to view 1hr record webinar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eg6S8R6HrXk

A group of Carbon Co-op householders and collaborators have been using OpenEnergyMonitor technology to test out some ideas. Starting with their individual homes they've begun to build a better picture of how they use, generate and potentially store electricity within their houses.

With the primary purpose of reducing the environmental impact of their energy use, it might be that they have used their OpenEnergyMonitor dashboard to decide to turn washing machines on when their solar panels are generating power or charged their electric vehicles when wind power has been at a peak on the national grid.

Now these householders they have taken things a stage further. Aggregating their homes together in a virtual grid cohort of six homes. When homes are aggregated together in this way, more possibilities and functionalities become apparent. For example, house 1 might be able to take advantage of house 2's unused solar generation. House 3 might delay or shift the use of their heat pump to exploit power stored in a battery in house 4.

At the moment this is very much a conceptual exercise. The homes are distributed around the country and the relative carbon levels of grid electricity as apportioned to each home have been estimated.  

But the prototype dashboard allows us to gain real insights in to energy behaviour as we propose and develop applications for Nobel Grid. And in North Wales, a trial funding a new hydro power plant alongside dynamic electricity pricing for local householders, could start to provide an idea of how a more flexible energy system might enable more intermittent renewable energy sources to be used.

The next stage for the trial is to start to examine the aggregated grid from the perspective of financial flows, even modelling possible future energy system innovations such as dynamic pricing. This will help us understand to what extent demand shifting can generate an income that can be used to incentivise householder behaviour.

Watch the webinar in full to explore the project in greater detail:

The webinar was recorded by Jonathan Atkinson of Carbon Co-op, Dom McCann, prosumer and Carbon Co-op member and Trystan Lea of OpenEnergyMonitor. (The last 5 minutes were effected by an internet outage but most of the video is watchable.)